Thirty-two years later, I am manipulating glass to manifest my creative vision. With only a few basic elements -- silica sand, soda ash, and limestone -- I use intense heat to melt a clear base glass, which I then weave into a tapestry of art and objects from the simplest vase to the most complex sculpture.
I moved to Burlington to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sculpture at the University of Vermont. At a party, a friend invited me to visit the glass shop where he worked. I started hanging out at the hot shop, owned by Alan Goldfarb, an amazingly talented glass artist and supportive mentor. Eventually I was hired on as first assistant, later running Alan's second work station as glassblower while solidifying hand skills and developing my own creative aesthetic.
After my first apprenticeship I made piecework in a number of Vermont studios. Throughout the years, I was privileged to study with many glass artists including Richard Marquis, Jack Wax and Lino Tagliapietra. In the summer of 2000, Granville, Vermont became the home of my first studio and gallery where I reside today, right on Route 100 nestled against the Green Mountain National Forest. It couldn't possibly be a more beautiful spot.
Much of my work is an exploration of possibilities using intricate traditional Italian cane, in the Murano tradition. During a visit to my studio you might see my team at work producing these remarkable glass rods. Using a wide array of ancient techniques I blend clear base glass with colored glass from Germany and New Zealand, drawing and twisting large masses of glass into rods up to 50 feet long and sometimes no thicker than a familiar yellow pencil.
Making my own cane allows me the latitude to carry a creative concept from the very first hint of an idea to its full fruition. This cane, when broken into shorter lengths, informs the final design of much of my glasswork, both functional wares and sculpture."
- Michael Egan, founder of Green Mountain Glassworks